Bread is a symbol used on game maps to represent the amount of food production in that space, upon which the world's population depends. The amount of bread designated in a hex is determined by the hex type, which in turn is a product of infrastructure. Hex types range from 1 to 8, with a "1" indicating a highly civilised hex and an "8" indicating uncivilised wilderness. Thus, type-1 and type-2 hexes possess much bread, while type-7 and type-8 hexes comparatively have very little.
Bread is produced in cultivated or arable hexes, which are primarily farm or pasture land, with production much more rigidly fixed than with coins or hammers. Bread symbols count as surplus foods, over and above the needs of the residents — which means that while a type-6 hex produces more actual food than a type-7, it also consumed more and thus provides an equal surplus.
Any type of hex from 1 to 7 is considered a "cultivated" hex. Some type-8 hexes are considered "arable" but not yet cleared, when they occur in temperate climes, or adjacent to cultivated hexes, or are otherwise considered to possess water. Such type-8 hexes supply food through foraging and hunting, and thus contribute to the overall surplus of food. Hexes that are designated as "mined" (see hammer location) are not considered arable. There may be food there, enough to provide some subsistence, but that wouldn't count as surplus.
Methods of Production
Agricultural output occurs in part to the quality of soil and the farming practices that are employed. It's assumed that a type-4 hex has a better soil than a type-5, as the former's presence indicates, through the infrastruction assignment method, that it's clearly more suitable for a larger population. Nonetheless, part of the benefit derived from the soil is accomplished through organisation of labour and mastering the existing conditions more efficiently. The table below therefore provides a general account of what sort of practice is performed according to the bread number and the hex-type.
|# Bread||When Occurring in this Type|
|1||hinterland||2 bread minimum||3 bread minimum||4 bread minimum||5 bread minimum|
|2||1 bread maximum||land clearance, open-field farming|
|3||crop rotation||irrigation, surveying||strip farming||livestock farming||mixed farming|
|4||3 bread maximum||land tenure||estate management, game reserve||terracing|
|5||4 bread maximum||market gardening||specialised crops|
|6||5 bread maximum||labour-intensive agriculture|
The table should be read so that a given hex type and number of bread would include everything to the left and above that entry. For example, a type-5 hex with 3 bread would not only include land tenure, but also strip farming and all those practices listed under type-8, type-7 and type-6 ... though progressively, the amount of hinterland in a hex diminishes as the hex-type improves, until a type-1 hex has no hinterland at all.
Surplus agriculture production can be rated according to the number of persons that a bread symbol can feed for a year, presuming an intake of approximately 2600 to 3400 calories. When calculating, count the bread number represents a power of 2 minus 1; thus, 1 bread is 21-1 = "1"; 2 bread = 22-1 = "3", 3 bread = 23-1 = "7" and so on. The series runs, therefore, 1, 3, 7, 15, 31, 63. That number is then multiplied by 70 to give the number of persons the surplus from that hex would produce.
On the map above, the type-8 hex would support 70 additional persons to those within the hex; the type-6 would support 210 and the type-5 would support 490.